Return of the Clonsayee is the second part of the Xidoran Prophecy series by Elaine Bassett.
Following the events of The Xidoran Prophecy, Charles Brookfield, a recent inductee into the coin-collecting, time-traveling organization of the Sojourners, who exist within and without the world we live in, returns to his life with sweetheart Caroline and a job at Jones’ farm.
After discovering the truth of the titular Xidoran Prophecy – the promise made by a furious sorcerer that someday the Sojourners would feel their power at the behest of a chosen one – Charles discovers new adventure in ancient writings near the farm for a fantastical ending to an eventful summer in the Return of the Clonsayee.
As with part one, the wide-eyed sci-fi fantasy setting is well constructed with a keen eye for detail in the way the world is created. The book is far better paced than its previous installment, but oftentimes a single chapter has either too much or too little happening. However, chapters are definitely much fresher and livelier, and the sometimes bland characters have much more to say, think and do. The book is written with serious notes taken from the more effervescent and vivid parts of Xidoran and its entirely to its benefit. The pace is no longer so sluggish, but instead there are many muddled metaphors and unfitting terms and figures of speech that seem to have escaped revision to confuse the reader enough for regular double takes.
The story itself is reasonably easy to follow on its own, with less (although by no means rid of) empty mundane detail enriching the read significantly. The intricacies of the first book are absolutely necessary for much of the book to make sense, of course, but overall it’s easy to get through a few chapters happily on this second outing.
The plot itself is just as bright and honest as the first, never feeling hopeless but without losing too much contrast from the cheery tone. The feel of a boy with everything to live for rings out in every chapter, and when the focus shifts onto other matters the tone shifts well into an appropriately mature scene without losing a background sense of wonder and light. The story does push the boundaries of belief at times in ways that the first managed to avoid despite the outwardly eccentric concept of time-traveling coin enthusiasts, this time with alien feathered horses taking the spot of an initial bizarre plot point. Many times serendipity with a character’s “chosen” status comes to play and there still exists many spots of slow free-roam with regards to story progression, but overall Return of the Clonsayee brings the series into its own with greater accessibility to anyone who enjoys the first. While no news of a sequel, hopefully the winter break of Charles Brookfield is on the horizon soon.
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